Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1400 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings and blessings to all,

Lovely to be back and a warm welcome to you all. We hope this week's edition will find you in good spirits, good health and in good company. We'd also like to welcome our newest subscribers. Thanks for signing up and please feel free to pass our musings and meanderings on to your family and friends.

Sizzling temperatures and high humidity returned to our part of the country which wasn't good news for people living in those areas affected by the biggest blackout we've ever experienced in the USA. Fortunately, here in Southern Ohio, we were able to find relief from the heat by turning up the AC. Not so for those trapped in elevators, subway cars and so on elsewhere in the country. In retrospect, after seeing that sea of humanity walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, one has to feel a sense of pride in how well everyone dealt with a major crisis that could have been much worse. We heard from a couple of subscribers - Mary in NYC, who was one of those hoofing it home across the bridge - and Judith in a suburb outside Cleveland, who has a generator. Mary got home safely and Judith didn't lose any perishables. We hope things went just as well for any others of you who might have lost your power. By the way, we have a brand new diesel generator we bought in anticipation of Y2K. It's for sale, if anyone's interested!

Meanwhile, our week began with a bit of embarrassment as Bridget realized she'd made a huge gaffe by reporting on a solar eclipse that had taken place several years ago! Bless all of you who wrote reassuring notes after we sent out an apology. One message was from John Lee, who is a budding politician in Southport, England:
"Just thought you might like to know I live in Southport, Lancashire in UK which was THE best place in the entire UK to view the 1927 eclipse. My mother saw it down on the beach here and described it to me as one of the most wondrous events she ever witnessed. There was a partial eclipse here in Southport in August 1999 that I saw, but it was obscured by a lot of cloud. The eclipse was total down in Cornwall, but that was also obscured by even more cloud. I was thinking of going to Cornwall to see it but was put off by reports of major traffic jams and nowhere to stay. I bought a new car in July 1999, went to Wales instead to view eclipse from the top of Snowdon, but crashed the car a few days before and wrote it off. As I had bought the car at a discount, I received back from the insurance company about £1,000 more than I paid for it, after I'd used it for 6 weeks and also didn't lose any no-claims discount as it wasn't my fault. So it didn't turn out that bad after all. See more of John at this website: http://www.thesouthportparty.co.uk/representatives.html

In news from Ireland:
Dublin will be heaven with coffee at 11am and a stroll round Stephen's Green on Monday, September 22, when along with 18 other cities and towns, the capital takes part in European Car-Free Day.

More than 100,000 pilgrims are expected to attend the annual Novena at Our Lady of Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo. The Novena began last Friday on the Feast of the Assumption.

A twelve-foot basking shark was saved by a quick-thinking diver off Achill Island. The shark had been caught in the ropes of a fishing vessel; Mr. Frances Stockwell got a knife from his dive boat and encountered a moment of fear before cutting the shark free. Then he remembered that basking sharks prefer plankton to people! Last seen, the big fish was headed for deeper waters.

After they had been grounded by the State, Fast Ferries Ltd. - the operators of a ferry service to the Aran Isles - were granted permission to resume taking passengers to and from the mainland. One ferry, the Saint Sornay, passed inspection. The second vessel remains confined to port.

Archaeologists have uncovered an important holy relic in Northern Ireland. The bronze bell shrine, dating back to between AD 1180 and 1200 had been cared for and hidden carefully in the ground for safe-keeping at the site of a settlement at Drumadoon near Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

The remains of a Viking warrior have been uncovered on a building site in central Dublin. The body, which was buried in a shallow grave with a shield on its chest and a knife at its left side, was found during an archaeological investigation of a site at South Great Georges Street.

A large black cat spotted a number of times near the popular resorts of Portrush and Portballintrae in Northern Ireland was confirmed as being a young black puma. Mr Stephen Philpott, of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, compared footprints found recently and declared that this was the real thing. (As of this writing, we don't know if it's been captured.)

From the mailbag:
Our friend AG in California sent in a warning about setting your cruise control when pavements are wet or icy. Apparently, this causes a phenomenon called hydroplaning - your tires will lose contact with the road surface, you will accelerate to a higher speed and your car will take off like an airplane. Very dangerous, indeed!

Links of the week:
Anne Bryan sent in Insiders Guide to Hidden Dublin. We checked it out and have already added it to our links on the Irish Culture and Customs website. Check it out here:

Hartson sends in a fun link that will definitely combat boredom. Try your hand at cyber fly-swatting:

For animal lovers, Audrey sent in:
Please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal.

We've blithered and blathered long enough - on with the update:
Please help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the following affiliate: Irish Shop!
Just a quick reminder to let you know that we have extended our FREE standard shipping with UPS offer due to popular demand! Also, when you order now, you'll receive a FREE Irish-American Clutch Pin while stocks last! Have a look at it here:
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A garda recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?" He said, "Call for reinforcements."
Another giggle adapted from one sent in by Patricia in England. Thanks, Patricia!
A man and his wife, now in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. On their special day, a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been such a devoted couple she would grant each of them a very special wish. The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband. Whoosh! Immediately she had airline & cruise tickets in her hands. The man wished for a female companion, 30 years younger..... Whoosh! Immediately he turned ninety!!!
1. Covering some 400 square miles, the midland Bog of Allen is the largest peat bog in the world?
2. Trout from Lough Melvin in Co, Fermanagh taste like chicken when cooked? According to legend, St. Patrick transformed them from fowl to fish.
3. The largest carillon of bells in the British Isles (128 of them) is housed in the spire of St. Colman's Cathedral in Cork?
God then made man. The Italians for their beauty. The French for their cuisine. The Welsh for their voices. The Germans for their cars. And on and on until He looked at what He had created and said, "This is all very well, but no-one is having fun. I'll have to make an Irishman."
Last week's quiz:

1. Irish Dance: Arthur Flynn
2. The Story of Irish dance: Helen Brennan
3. Irish Dancing Costumes: Martha Robb

Congrats to this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &

Norma L Mackay
I don't have my own site. My favorite sites are:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms (of course) and http://www.celticattic.com
(Thanks, Norma! Very sweet of you!)

Helen Dowd
Many interesting stories and a myriad of writers can be found at Mission Magazine: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net/ Check out the archives for hundreds of stories and articles on a multitude of subjects: children, recipes, pet lore, family, inspirational, Bible study, and much, much more. Need an angel today? Visit my website at: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/literary.html

Hartson Dowd
Countryside Ireland - promoting and protecting country sports and their environments:

Michael O'Connor
If you don't understand the news about the north of Ireland, read the full story here:

Pat Murphy
Biddy McGraw's the Pacific Northwest's only authentic Irish pub and the home 'o the "perfect" pint:

Niamb Flanagan
Irish American Cultural Institute - Coming Events, Programs & Opportunities, Chapters:

Katie O'Rourke
Irish Summerfest in Euclid, Ohio. The festival features traditional Irish food, an Irish shopping mall, children's activities, Irish dancing and continuous live entertainment:

Christy Shanahan
Whether you are an experienced golfer or would just like to try some golf on your next visit to Ireland, this site will help you make the most of your trip

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. The Speckled People
2. Haunted Ground
3. Round Ireland with a Fridge

1. Hint: All three titles can be found here:

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Last week's answer is:
A notable surgeon was about to perform an operation but he found he was not able because he had no table.
This one stumped everyone - so, we'll make this week's a wee bit easier: I have two arms, but fingers none. I have two feet, but cannot run. I carry well, but I have found, I carry best with feet OFF the ground. What am I?
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. Article: John Feeney - the "other" Irish tenor
3. Article: Meet Oliver Sach - New Zeland's #1 Irish Dancer
4. Article: The Rose of Tralee - How the Ballad Came to Be
5. The Irish Kitchen - Kerry Pies
6. Circle of Prayer. Our fourth Novena in this cycle continues through August 20 and the fifth one will begin on Thursday. Please keep Eileen's brother, Bob, in your prayers; he has been diagnosed with cancer and we are now praying that it's treatable. Mid-week, Terese Reilly lost her struggle with cancer. God answers our prayers in many different ways - in this case, her family and friends had prayed that she would not suffer. The end was peaceful and came quickly. Others who continue to need our petitions include C.J., Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and our military personnel stationed all over the world, especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation each day. Knowing that we hold all of these people in our thoughts and hearts is, of itself, a great comfort to them.
7. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
8. This month in Irish History:
9. Trivia Contest. Still haven't entered? It isn't too late - yet!

We're behind as usual, but Bridget hopes to catch up on previously promised articles. We'll have a new basic Irish lesson on Tuesday, the blessing for the week is posted, there'll be a new quote on Wednesday and a new recipe from Hartson on Friday. Each day, we'll update the news and headlines.

We do have a favor to ask - traffic has been way down on the site and we need to boost the stats in order to attract potential advertisers. So please visit everyday if you can - the news and history are updated daily - usually before 10:00 am EST. Many thanks!

So that about wraps it up for another week. Just a few more bits and pieces:
Recently, Emily asked if anyone knows of any beliefs about displaying unlit candles. She's heard you're always supposed to burn the wick on a new candle. Bill Smith writes: "I was told, by a member of Altar Guild, that candles are always to be lit and trimmed before going onto the altar - to make them easier for the acolytes to light. I have experienced, firsthand, the difficulties of lighting pristine candles, and once had to prolong my prelude a few minutes while the acolyte removed a candle, took it to the sacristy, lit it, trimmed it, then returned it to the altar for lighting. I'm sure there was a Guildster eating crow for Sunday Dinner that day."
Anne Bryan also wrote in about lighting candles: "My grandmother, who was first generation Irish, always said it was bad luck to put a candle on the table and not burn the wick. I always burn the wick on a new candle. I don't believe it is bad luck, I just don't want to take chances!"

Now we have a new question that perhaps someone can answer. A reader writes: "I live in the U.S. and my father's parents were both Irish immigrants. On the 15th of August, the Feast of the Assumption, my father would insist that we all go and swim in the ocean. We have no idea what this tradition means and I'm wondering if you could shed some light on this matter?" Anyone have an answer?

It's the beginning of National Friendship week here in the USA and we'd like to take this opportunity to recognize all of the friends we've made through this newsletter and the website. There are too many of you to list individually, but we want you to know that we treasure all of you and appreciate your on-going support. The coming week (on 8/21) is also Statehood Day in Hawaii; for all of our readers in our 50th state, we wish you a safe and happy holiday this Friday. And here's an odd one - 8/19 is "Potato Day"( be sure to serve Ireland's favorite food!) It's also "Soft Ice Cream Day," so if you'd rather have a double dip "whippie" as opposed to whipped spuds, go ahead and indulge.

Until next time, may the Good Shepherd of us all keep you and yours from all harm and may you be showered with an abundance of blessings.

All the best - and as they say in Ireland - mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Help us keep this newsletter free - please visit this week's affiliate: A Piece of Ireland
Located at Lissacreasig, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland Macroom Land Trust is offering1-foot square plots of land for sale. Each purchase comes with a certificate suitable for framing, photographs from the area, and a 4- page history. A perfect gift for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, A Piece of Ireland is also ideal for
promotional or business thank-yous. To learn more, please click here: http://www.apieceofireland.com/index.php?id=1083
Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome. Please send whatever you can to: 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And many thanks for your kindness!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
She has left United States waters after a record number of visitors boarded the vessel at her last port of call, Portsmouth in New Hampshire - more than 6,000 over three days! She is now docked in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, until 8/18. For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3

Dublin, Ireland
August 13-August 30
The Other Side -Project Art Center, Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
This is an exciting new play by award winning theatre company ReadCo. A unique theatrical experience, it divides not only the characters on stage but the audience as well so that we can only see and hear things from the perspective of just one character. So bring a friend to The Other Side but don't sit together. You'll have a lot to talk about later. For more info, please contact Bernadette Larkin:
bernadette@writerscentre.ie or http://www.writerscentre.ie

Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
Festival of World Cultures - August 22-August 24
Arts festival celebrating cultural diversity through an extravaganza of internationally acclaimed acts including music, film, circus, theatre, dance performances, club nights, markets, exhibitions, workshops & children's activities.

Let Me Take You To the Island 2003
The Rathlin week-end will take place on the 5th -7th September

The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents:
2003 St. Paddy's Irish Open - Monday, September 15, 2003
2PM Shotgun Start - Four Man Scramble & Green Ball Contest at Augusta Pines, 18 Augusta Pines Rd, Spring, Texas For more details, please write: Irishmkk@aol.com

A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click

Aran Isles - Traditional Basket-Making - a journey into the past!
6 - 13 October 2003
You still can book for this last programme. October is a beautiful exciting month in Ireland, with wild seas, rainbows and ever-changing skies. For more details, please email Elizabeth Zollinger: info@irish-culture.ch

Samhain International Poetry Festival Friday 31 October & Mon 3 November in Gort a'Choirce, Co. Donegal. Email: info@samhainpoetrycompetition.com
or info@maggiedans.com

Ancient Order of Hibernians Historical Tour of Ireland
January 27, 2004 - February 4, 2004
In conjunction with Our Lady of Knock Division No. 2; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, please call James V. Magee, Jr., President (513) 621-9660

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Delesandri Tours, booking agent for this trip Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering
May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: